You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Why Trump’s ‘termination’ of Constitution, demanding reinstatement or do-over, has set off alarms

FOX News logo FOX News 12/6/2022 Howard Kurtz
Howard Kurtz: Conservative media tilts from Trump to DeSantis
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Billions of words have been devoted to analyzing, criticizing, demonizing and denouncing Donald Trump. 

In newspapers, magazines and books, on television and social media, unnamed advisers provide a barometer of his moods and methods, sometimes venting their own frustration about what he’s doing or refusing to do.

And yet for all the digging about what’s happening behind the scenes, it is often Trump’s own words – on display, out in the open, in the light of day – that cause him the greatest problems.

On cable news yesterday, there were lots of banners about something that exploded over the weekend: "TRUMP CALLS FOR CONSTITUTION TO BE TERMINATED."

WHITE HOUSE RESPONDS TO TRUMP DEMANDING TO TERMINATE PARTS OF THE CONSTITUTION AFTER ‘TWITTER FILES’ RELEASE

In this Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump arrives on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington. AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File © AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File In this Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump arrives on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington. AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

When I first saw similar headlines online, I assumed it must be liberal spin, something taken out of context to make that accusation.

READ ON THE FOX NEWS APP

Uh, no. That’s what he posted on Truth Social.

With Georgia’s Senate runoff today, you think this is what Republicans want to be talking about?

The impetus for Trump’s demand was the Twitter Files, which Elon Musk released, through journalist Matt Taibbi, on the outrage of the social media site suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story at the end of the 2020 campaign. The files show Twitter executives scrambling to come up with a reason for the blockade and debating whether "hacked materials" would hold up as an excuse. (The laptop was not hacked, what the New York Post obtained was a hard drive that the Democratic nominee’s son had left with a Delaware repair shop, but that wasn’t clear at the time.)

The files also show that Twitter acted on its own, not in response to a request from the Biden campaign, which did later ask that tweets with pornographic images of Hunter Biden be removed. And while one official at the liberal company did raise the prospect that Trump could be elected, Taibbi flatly said there was no evidence of government involvement.

TRUMP-LINKED LAWYER HARMEET DHILLON WEIGHING BID TO REPLACE MCDANIEL AS RNC CHAIR

Still, Trump used this to advance his two-year-old crusade to show, without evidence, that the election was stolen from him.

Here’s the entire post:

"So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!" 

The "Truth Social" logo on a computer screen and smartphone. Leon Neal/Getty Images © Leon Neal/Getty Images The "Truth Social" logo on a computer screen and smartphone. Leon Neal/Getty Images

But they also approved a Constitution that contains no provision for do-overs or evicting a sitting president in favor of his predecessor.

Trump didn’t fudge or imply; he explicitly said "termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution."

This is not a leak from a meeting or liberals saying the ex-president has no respect for the Constitution. These are Trump’s own words.

Trying to dig out from an avalanche of coverage, Trump posted again… and blamed the media. "The Fake News is actually trying to convince the American People that I said I wanted to ‘terminate’ the Constitution. This is simply more DISINFORMATION & LIES, just like RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, and all of their other HOAXES & SCAMS."

But then, he doubled down on his fundamental point, that when there is "MASSIVE FRAUD" and so on, "steps must be immediately taken to RIGHT THE WRONG. Only FOOLS would disagree with that and accept STOLEN ELECTIONS. MAGA!"

Same argument about 2020, just without repeating "even those found in the Constitution."

Republicans on the Sunday shows were pressed about this and tried to deflect, hoping the thing will blow over. They are clearly afraid that Trump, with his strong hold on the MAGA base, will turn on them.

A striking number of top Republican lawmakers did criticize Trump for his meeting with Hitler-loving Kanye West, rather than leave the impression they’re afraid to call out anti-Semitism. But the initial reaction to the latest controversy appears to be "well, Donald Trump says a lot of things."

Rapper Kanye West embraces former President Donald Trump in the White House's Oval Office on October 11, 2018. Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images © Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images Rapper Kanye West embraces former President Donald Trump in the White House's Oval Office on October 11, 2018. Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images

I’ve covered Trump for 35 years, and I don’t believe he’s anti-Semitic; the question is why he gave a forum to someone who likes Nazis and keeps slamming Jewish people. I also happen to be very fond of the Constitution.

I’m constantly taking flak from Trump supporters who think I go out of my way to bash him. The reality is the front-runner for the GOP nomination, by any objective standard, has had a couple of awful weeks.

SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE'S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF ON THE DAY'S HOTTEST STORIES

The Supreme Court, including his three appointees, ruled unanimously against him in ordering his tax returns be provided to a House committee. An appellate court panel, also including his appointees, halted the special master who has been slowing up the Justice Department investigation and had been named by a Trump-friendly judge in Florida who had nothing to do with the case. 

I’ve never been in the "this time Trump is doomed!" camp. When the media dial everything up to 11, it can be hard to separate a brief flap from a dire emergency. He has survived Bob Mueller and two impeachments.

But with his own phrasing on social media, Trump has given credence to those who have long argued he didn’t care about our nearly 250-year-old governing document. He did, after all, take an inaugural oath "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." 

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From FOX News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon